In August 2004, Daike Tian entered Auburn University as a Graduate Research Assistant to pursue a Doctor of Science degree in Horticulture, receiving his PhD August 9, 2008. He embraced the AU Lotus Project, Alabama USA,which studies the feasibility of growing lotus as an alternative food and ornamental crop in the southern United States. His thesis is titled Container Production and Post-harvest Handling of Lotus (Nelumbo) and Micropropagation of Herbaceous Peony (Paeonia). Abstract | Dissertation We are pleased to present previously unpublished extensions of Daike's thesis in this issue, including The Versatile and Valuable Lotus, Experiments with Lotus Propagation and a fabulous Nelumbo Image Gallery.

Read about Daike Tian >

From storage to yield --

Experiments with Lotus (Nelumbo) Propagation
at Auburn University
Alabama USA

by Daike Tian, PhD, China and USA
Click most images and tables to enlarge

Storage of Lotus Propagules 

Lotus propagules can be stored in the cooler (4 ºC, 95% RH) for over 6 months. Successful surface sterilization and sanitation are critical.



Soil Level and Media

Soil Level: The ¼ and ½ soil level of the container were more efficient than ¾ soil level for lotus production.

Media: Application of pine bark (up to 80%) to the soil media improved lotus growth and decreased labor for harvest.

Planting Time of Lotus at AU

March and April are the best season for planting lotus.

Treatments: plants were planted on Feb-25* (greenhouse), Feb-25, Mar-25, Apr-25, and May-25 outside.  

Fertilization – Trial I

Fertilization significantly increased plant growth indices: plant height, number of standing leaves, flowers and propagules, and fresh underground biomass.

 ELN – emerging leaf number, FN – flower number, PN – propagule number, H1 and H2 – plant height I and II (cm) were measured on July 4 and August 4, respectively. Fertilizer: Pro•Sol 20-10-20; Container: #7; Cultivar: ‘UN7’

Fertilization – Trial II

The plant indices including flowering peak are influenced by composition of fertilizers.

A: Control, 0 fertilizer
B: Urea, 2.2g/10d
C: Pro.Sol 20-10-20, 5g/10d
D: Pro.Sol 20-10-20, 10g/20d
E: Miracle-Gro 24-8-16, 4.2g/10d
F: Miracle-Gro 15-30-15, 6.7g/10d
G: Controlled release Polyon 18-6-12, 11.2g/10d

Fertilization – Trial III

Fertilizers more suitable for rhizome production: Miracle-Gro 15-30-15, Pro•Sol 20-10-20, 20-20-20, and Pondtabbs 300ct 10-14-8

Fertilizers more effective for flower development: Controlled release fertilizers 16-6-13, 21-7-14, 16-6-12 and Miracle-Gro 24-8-16

Fertilization of lotus should depend on cultivar, growth stage, fertilizer type, container size, water volume in containers and the purpose of production. 


Disbudding increased yield of underground weight and propagule number.

Container Production System is suitable to evaluate yield of seed and edible lotus.

Daike Tian

 Container Production and Post-harvest Handling of Lotus (Nelumbo) and Micropropagation of Herbaceous Peony (Paeonia) by Daike Tian Abstract | Dissertation

The Versatile and Valuable Lotus

Nelumbo Image Gallery

Auburn University Lotus Project

Profile - Daike Tian, China and USA

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